Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has emphasized that it is extremely important to have a blue print for the future of Afghanistan that would ensure its territorial integrity. A strategy to resolve the Afghan crisis should be such that it does not destabilize Pakistan side of the boarder. Stability in Afghanistan means Pakistan’s political and economic stability.
The Prime Minister was talking to Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski, Foreign Minister of Poland who called on him at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat this afternoon. The Polish Foreign Minister is in Pakistan for a bilateral visit as well as a representative of the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Lady Catherine Ashton. Mr. Sikorski is familiar with Pakistan and Afghanistan from the days of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, when he had covered the war as a journalist embedded with the Mujahideen.
The Prime Minister said that it was in Pakistan’s own interest to root out terrorism and not to please others. We have the resolve and the will to fight terrorism. However, the people of Pakistan are disappointed that their sacrifices, both in human and economic terms did not get due recognition and support from the international community. He further stated that terrorism is a global phenomenon which can be countered effectively through cooperation of international community. Pakistan’s role, he mentioned, can be more effective if the international partners in this war fulfil their commitments for economic support as well as helping to improve the capabilities and capacity of its security forces.
The Prime Minister also elaborated that Pakistan – US have enjoyed good defence and intelligence cooperation. Pakistan has shared intelligence to helped trace high value targets. But when time came to share the victory, Pakistan received only the blame. This has damaged the trust that would need to be bridged through sincere efforts and understanding of each others’ expectations.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is keenly looking forward to the next Pakistan-EU Summit that could be held in Islamabad, which he said, would greatly facilitate to develop closer linkages with the European Union. Poland, he hoped, would support Pakistan to attain GSP Plus status and facilitation of market access for Pakistan’s exports to EU.
While elaborating upon efforts to further improve respect for human rights, the Prime Minister said that the government has created a special Ministry on Human Rights to specifically focus on all the relevant matters. The impression in the West that women and minorities are being targeted needs to be dispelled. Terrorists and extremists do not make any distinction when they attack soft targets like girls schools, mosques and shrines. This only shows that they are on the run now.
The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s desire to maintain close friendly relations with all its neighbours. The recent Foreign Ministers level talks with India, he said, were positive. Both sides recognized the importance of the dialogue process for peace and stability in the region.
As regards bilateral relations with Poland, the Prime Minister emphasized upon more high level visits and people to people contacts to build meaningful ties between the two countries. The Foreign Minister of Poland, who was accompanied by the Ambassador for the European Union and the Polish Ambassador, assured Pakistan of his country’s support as well as of the EU during Poland Presidency.
Poland, the Polish Foreign Minister said, recognized that economic development was extremely important for Pakistan. Poland will support Pakistan’s quest for GSP Plus leading up to a five year agreement. He said that development of Pakistan to be effective should focus on the people and their representative. Pakistan is an essential ally. Poland feels the pain that Pakistan facts in the struggle against terrorism. The European Union and Poland shall continue to assist Pakistan this campaign.
Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski, Foreign Minister of Poland said that it is heartening to note that Pakistan has decided to lift reservations for ratification to Human Rights Convention. The establishment of the Ministry of Human Rights, he said, would be a great step forward to focus upon on the related issues.
The Polish Foreign Minister said that the outcome of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan’s visit to India was very impressive and would pave the way for further improving understanding between the two countries.
Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski also extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Poland at his earliest convenience which the Prime Minister was pleased to accept. The details of the visit would be mutually decided between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.
Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan Mr Andrzej Ananicz, Ambassador of EU in Pakistan Mr. Lars Gunnar Wigemark, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mrs. Hina Rabbani Khar, Additional Secretary Foreign Affairs and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.
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